Looking back on 2020, I can’t say that it was my worst year ever. Nor was it my best. I had some good things happen. And there were things I wish I hadn’t had to go through. But can’t we say that about most years?
The year started off as it ended in 2019. I was working outside the home as a music teacher at a small school, and still doing school author presentations.
In February, I was delighted to find out that my children’s picture book The Underdog Duckling was shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book Awards. (It had already won an award the year before (The Word Awards, 2019)).
Then the pandemic erupted and threw me for a loop. All of a sudden, everything was shut down. I lost my job as a music teacher, and most of my income opportunities shut down.
After the initial lockdown eased, I was able to occasionally get out into the countryside and photograph wildlife, a balm to my soul. I also had the pleasure of watching this young grebe family grow from two to five at a small pond within walking distance of our where I lived. It was a welcome distraction while life got sorted out.
I found out that my middle years' book When Crocodiles Cry: 365 More Amazing Facts About The Animal Kingdom was shortlisted for The Word Awards.
In September, I found out that I had won InScribe Christian Writers' Fellowship's Janette Oke award. The Janette Oke Award is given to an InScribe member who shows a strong Christian commitment, a desire to impact society with family and Christ-like values in their work, and is innovative or brave in their chosen genre with a sense of commitment, conviction ad strong desire to persevere in their field. What an honour!
In early fall, I found out that two of my short (fictional) stories and a few of my photos were accepted into the newest InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship anthology, Easter Stories And More, released in 2021.
I diversified my work in order to make an income after moving to the east coast with my greeting cards, bookmarks, and other gift items making their way into stores in various places around the Maritimes.
I continued to take photos of wildlife (mostly birds and squirrels), as well as landscapes.
In the last week of December, I released two music videos publicly on my Facebook page: “Red & White” (from my Christmas CD Red & White) and a new original song “You Are the One” (click here). This was a big deal for me as I have not shared my original music publicly for three years. Further, I challenged myself to memorize all the lyrics and notes for the recording, and am pleased to see that I did it!
It has been quite the year, with both ups and downs. I am looking forward to new projects and learning new ways of doing things as the Lord continues to impact and direct my life, my vocation, and my ministry.